A variety of grinders – which is more convenient for what?

Tool manufacturers offer several modifications of grinders – belt, eccentric, vibrating, brush, straight and delta grinders. They are designed to perform similar operations – surface cleaning. However, the design differences between different models of grinding machines delimit the area of ​​their application.

What works do grinders
The sanders are suitable for processing wood, panel materials, plastic, metal, artificial stone, concrete, brick and plastered surfaces. With their help, you can perform different types of work:

leveling and grinding of flat surfaces;
rounding, leveling and grinding of the ends of parts;
removal of paint, dirt, rot, rust from surfaces;
processing of ends inside holes, slots and recesses.

The successful completion of the planned work largely depends on the correct choice of tool. At home, using grinding machines, most often wooden surfaces are tidied up – table covers, workbenches, door frames and canvases.

Theoretically, these works can be performed with both tape and eccentric or vibration machines. But consider the possibilities, as well as the pros and cons of each type of grinding tool.

Belt Sanders
Draw frames are one- and two-handed. They are based on a solid, massive sole, a motor and two rotating rollers. They are suitable for machining flat surfaces and ends.

The tooling for these models is a closed sandpaper belt – hence the name of the tool. It is driven by one of the rollers, which is connected to the engine. For fixing the rig, a special lever is provided that spreads the rollers in opposite directions and pulls the tape. This method of fastening allows you to change the equipment very quickly.

Machines of this type are quite powerful tools that are suitable for leveling significant irregularities and working with hard materials. They can handle flat surfaces and ends. In the right hands, this tool is capable of performing miracles. When using coarse-grained tooling, it can replace the electric planer.

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Also, belt grinders can be used as a tool for quickly sharpening knives or drills. If necessary, with their help, it will be possible to quickly remove rust, old paint or varnish.

They allow you to quickly shorten workpieces when the right cutting tool is not at hand. For example, it is difficult to neatly remove a few millimeters with a jigsaw, and a belt sander helps out in such cases. Easy and quick belt change is another advantage of this tool.

The main advantages of draw frames (power and productivity), with inept handling and due to carelessness, can instantly turn into tool disadvantages:

if you press the sole harder than required, the machine will instantly leave deep grooves on the treated surface;
when working at high speeds, the tool can be pulled out of the hands, often the workpiece itself flies out from under the tape, which can sometimes injure people standing next to it;
when grinding at a high speed of rotation, the belt models overheat the processed surface, which can lead to its darkening or the release of harmful substances into the air.
It is necessary to take into account the design features of the tape models, which do not allow the machine to reach all places on the surface of the workpiece.

Vibrating machines
This type of grinding tool is a compact body with a handle and a motor. At the bottom, a flat rectangular sole is fixed on it. After turning on the machine, it starts to vibrate. The sole simultaneously moves up and down, left and right and back and forth. Due to the simultaneous vibrations in several planes, the vibration machine qualitatively cleans the surface to be treated.

When working with vibrating machines, you do not need to apply force to hold the tool or fix the workpieces. The rectangular shape of the sole provides access to almost all areas, even in cases where the treated products have bumpers. When working with vibrating models, it is difficult to spoil the workpiece. You need to try hard or think for a long time in order to make chippings and significant indentations on the surface.

This tool is designed primarily for finishing. It is unlikely that it will be possible to level a relief surface with significant defects and dents with its help. At least in this case, you will have to spend a lot of time on grinding. In addition, vibrating machines are not suitable for grinding radius ends. That is, this tool has serious functional limitations. An additional disadvantage is the inconvenient replacement of the equipment.

Eccentric cars
It is appropriate to call this type of grinding tool a hybrid of a belt and vibration machine. The developers were able to combine in this modification two methods of grinding – using a rotational and translational motion.

Structurally, the eccentric machine resembles a vibration machine , but has a round sole. The sanding attachment is attached to its base with Velcro. Such machines most often have one handle, but some models are equipped with an additional grip. The presence of another handle makes the work easier and allows for better control of the tool.

Eccentric machines are more efficient and more convenient than vibrating ones. The powerful model with variable speed and dust extraction can carry out a large amount of work with minimal risk of spoiling the surface. This tool is very handy and easy to use. Easy change of attachments on the sole with Velcro makes it easier to work with such a machine.

The round shape of the sole limits access to the corner areas on products with collars. The eccentric clippers are good for pre-sanding and finishing sanding, but they are difficult to level surfaces with pronounced relief. Pressing hard on the clipper when removing deep chippings can damage the instrument. In addition, eccentric models, like vibration ones, are not suitable for processing radius ends.

Delta sanders
The tool is designed for delicate work. The base of the delta sander is shaped like the sole of an iron. Thanks to this, you can easily process areas that are difficult to access for other models. They will help clean both horizontal and vertical surfaces. The principle of operation of delta grinders is the same as of vibration machines.

Advantages and disadvantages
The main advantage of this tool is its delicate grinding. In terms of other characteristics, delta grinders do not differ from vibration machines, including the disadvantages of their basic counterparts.

Straight and brush machines
These tools have a narrow range of applications and are not suitable for repairing large surfaces. Straight grinders are usually used to process the ends of holes and slots, as well as joints on pipes. Sometimes they are used to clean surfaces in hard-to-reach places. Brush machines are designed to remove rust, paint, plaque and material that has peeled off over time from flat surfaces.

Dust extraction and collection systems
When sanding with any machine, a lot of dust is generated. Moreover, its quantity depends not on the type of tool, but on the thickness of the layer removed from the workpiece. Dust always appears. It quickly clogs the equipment, impairs the visual control of the quality of grinding and is harmful to health, and also requires a lot of time for cleaning.

The vast majority of modern models have systems for removing and collecting dust. The difference lies in their effectiveness. These systems practically do not work for a budget instrument. Most of the dust is not pulled out, but remains on the treated surface and scatters around the room.

The maximum effect is provided by connecting the tool to the vacuum cleaner. In this case, it is undesirable to use household models. To remove dust when performing grinding work, a special construction vacuum cleaner is required. Only he will be able to ensure effective and tight collection of dust.

Grinding accessories
Depending on the modification of the tool, belts , circles or rectangular blades are used for grinding . All of them are made of sandpaper with different grain sizes. They are marked on the back, making it easy to find the right equipment for sanding wood products. The lower the value, the rougher the work can be done:
If you need a perfectly smooth surface on which objects will slide, you can use abrasive grit up to P400. When selecting equipment for vibration and eccentric machines, it is advisable to give preference to equipment with holes for dust extraction. Indeed, without them, the equipment will quickly clog up and require frequent replacement, which will negatively affect the efficiency of work. Draw frames have a different dust extraction system, so no holes are needed to fit them.

Which car to choose
With the help of tape modification, you can perform the maximum number of operations, but this is within the power of experienced craftsmen. People without practical skills will not be able to take advantage of the wide capabilities of this tool. Therefore, it is advisable to have in your arsenal both tape and eccentric models. And ideally – also a vibration machine (or rather, its modernized version – a delta sander).